Report card: grades for the other councils

Posted April 24th, 2020 by admin and filed in 老域名
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TODAY is part two of The Advocate’s reporters’ local government ratings.
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The councils have been rated on six measures.

Those have been averaged to produce overall ratings for the councils.

Ratings for the other five councils appeared in Saturday’s issue.

Have your own say by rating your own council at this page.

The Kentish Council is looking to further its existing mural attraction with a $60,000 Mural Wall of Honour. This would complement the successful Mural Fest. Picture: Jason Hollister.

KENTISH

Finances: A $509,000 operating loss for 2013-14, due to the timing of government grants rather than poor council performance. It has budgeted for a $714,000 profit this financial year and has projected surpluses for the next three. Debt levels not a worry, rate levels are.

Rating: 6.5/10

Rates: Has gone from cheap to expensive in the last decade. It was very restrained this year, with gross income from rates budgeted to increase by a below-inflation 2 per cent (including income from new properties) and no property to get a rates rise of more than 3 per cent. Sadly, it is projecting higher rates increases in future years.

Rating: 4.5/10

Community projects: Furthering its existing mural attractions but also innovating. A proposed world-class mountain bike trail could draw more visitors, and the council has called for expressions of interest to form a project master plan. It’s paid the Kentish Arts Festival $60,000 to build a Mural Wall of Honour, another future attraction for thearea. Expensive repairs to Spellmans Road, Wilmot after heavy rain in August 2013 arefinished, however Browns Road will remaintemporarilyclosed until repairs in summer.

Rating: 8/10

Development: BCD Resources’ gold mining project at Moina, touted as providing 55 jobs, won the council’s approval. It is positive news. State economic conditions are out of the council’s control but it is trying to draw business by developing tourism. Considering the circumstances, the council is doing well to help builda new economic base.

Rating: 8/10

Advocacy: Securing government assistance to repair rain-damaged Spellmans Road. The council reopened Sheffield’s cemetery when non-resident fees spiked at Devonport’s Mersey Vale Lawn Cemetery. Kentish Council continues to position the area as a creative community drawing tourists with its art and culture.

Rating: 7.5/10

Teamwork: A largely functional team of motivated councillors led with calm authority by Mayor Don Thwaites. Mavericks Bart Wisse and Annie Willock bring a different ideology to the table but have worked with other councillors. Debates have not been gratuitous or petty.

Rating: 7.5/10

Overall: 7/10

WARATAH-WYNYARD

Finances: Has produced a balanced budget for 2014-15, but only because of grants money. It expects an operating deficit of $394,000; worse than the $202,000 operating deficit for 2013-14. Low debt. The council’s financial position is sound, but it will need to do some work on the expenses (preferably) or revenue side.

Rating: 6/10.

Community Projects: The council has placed their focus firmly on projects that provide a win-win result for the council and the community. For example the free wi-fi in Civic Square is great for a digitally focused community. However, it is also a tourism boost for the municipality and it is a progressive step other councils in our region have yet to take. The work on the Bloomin’ Tulips Festival has been strong and ongoing. The council has committed to making it different this year, eager to continue attracting different people and keeping those who come every year interested. While the community projects the council has launched have been on-point, they are few and far between. This could be attributed to a tough financial year.

Rating: 6/10.

Development: There have been significantdevelopments that are large enoughto impact the municipality’s economy, leaving it steady for the year. Although the council is working on expanding its resource-sharing agreement with the Circular Head Council to include the Burnie City Council.

Rating: 5/10.

Rates: A 2.63 per cent increase in the general rate was not excessive. Rates levels overall are competitive by regional standards.

Rating: 6.5/10.

Advocacy: The council has kept largely to itself, preferring to focus on issues it can deal with on a local level. However, the council has stepped up with some of the more significant issues, sending letters to the state government and federal government following NBN issues for example.

Rating: 4/10.

Teamwork: The mayor, deputy mayor and general manager set a strong standard of teamwork that is otherwise ignored by some other councillors. Political affiliations have resulted in significant tension between a number of councillors and often results inpetty bickering in the monthly council meetings.

Rating: 5/10.

Overall: 5.4/10.

CIRCULAR HEAD

Finances: Made the right call in bringing down a careful budget, concentrating on existing assets. Is expecting a $296,000 deficit anyway, following on from a $405,000 deficit in 2013-14. Needs to make improvements, although its overall position is decent.

Rating: 5.5/10

Community Projects: The Circular Head Council has been diligent with community projects, ensuring each demographic group is catered for. The council and its various sub-groups have instigated and supported projects on road safety, mental health and well being, physical health and many more. The latest community projects that have recently been launched by the council is the documentary and forum to combat the growing ice issue in the municipality and the literacy plan, which has outlined recommendations to lift the literacy rates and promote the importance of education and training.

Rating:9/10.

Development: The council has done well despite being short on funds, supporting the mines in its region and getting a start on the beautification of the Smithton foreshore. The Smithton wharf was opened recently as well. However, the council has had problems getting the aquatic centre off the ground, with the community unable to agree to the original plans. However, that is an issue the council is looking at with the the current public pool on the fast track to deterioration.

Rating: 6/10.

Rates: Hiked the general rate by 2.63 per cent, which was a little below inflation. Competitive on rates compared to regional councils.

Rating: 6.5/10.

Advocacy: Advocacy is something the council takes seriously as a small community that has worked hard to get where it is. The council is always lobbying the government to fix issues within the community it is responsible for or looking at issues of social justice or public health and safety.

Rating:6/10.

Teamwork: The Circular Head Council works effectively as a team, and is led by Daryl Quilliam fairly and honestly. Each councillor can air their concerns and opinions peacefully and are often respected by fellow councillors.

Rating: 8/10.

Overall: 6.8/10.

CENTRAL COAST

Finances: Excellent. If this council was a company, it would be considering takeover bids for a rival or two. Has had a very long run of good management and ratepayers are better off because of it. Getting full dividends from TasWater at last will help, while debt levels are very low for a council this size.

Rating: 8.5/10.

Community Projects: Upgrades to the impressive Penguin Regional Athletics Centre have been completed, and stage two of works to the Central Coast Mountain Bike Park have been completed. A $9.13 million capital works program will focus on upgrading the crumbling Leven River seawall, extending the Turners Beach walking track and rural and urban road upgrades.

Rating: 8/10.

Development: The Dial Blythe Irrigation Scheme has been delayed due to a late start and poor weather but is due to be completed in March 2015. Refrigeration giant Degree C moved into its new premises in the region this year. The council remains focused on making it easier for businesses to invest in the region, and for it to capitalise on tourism opportunities.

Rating: 7.5/10

Rates: Not especially cheap, but puts the cities on either side to shame. Below-CPI increases in the general rate and in waste management charges this year.

Rating: 7/10.

Advocacy: The council regularly lobbies both state and federal government on a number of issues. Has fearlessly held both TasWater and the Cradle Coast Authority to account and is constantly expanding its reach to be more than just rates, roads and rubbish.

Rating: 8/10.

Teamwork: The council seamlessly filled the hole created by the departure of Deputy Mayor Cheryl Fuller and is a well oiled machine. A few councillors shy away from engaging in debate and raising motions, but with an election looming a few of the quieter members have made their voices heard more regularly.

Rating: 8/10.

Overall: 7.8/10.

Ratings for the other five councils appeared in Saturday’s issue.

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